NASA has said that it would be putting up a 4G network on the moon.
Contracts for building the network worth $370 million have been handed over by NASA to more than a dozen companies who are tasked with deploying the 4G technology on the lunar surface as the United States space agency steps up its efforts to reach its 2028 target of building a base ion the moon and to eventually build a system that can sustain a human presence on the moon.
Remote power generation, cryogenic freezing, robotics, safer landing and 4G network connections are included in the list of innovations.
Compared to the current radio standards available on the moon, a more reliable and longer-distance communication will be put in place on the moon by the 4G technology, says NASA. The 4G network will eventually be upgraded to 5G just like on Earth.
For the project, a contract of $14.1 million was granted by NASA to Nokia’s Bell Labs. To construct the 4G-LTE network on the moon, a partnership with spaceflight engineering company Intuitive Machines will be set up by Bell Labs, which was formerly operated by AT&T.
Experts believe that compared to the level and quality of functioning of 4G networks on Earth, it would function better on the moon as there are no trees buildings or TV signals on the lunar surface that would interfere with the 4G signals.
And to be able to withstand the particularities of the lunar surface: extreme temperature, radiation and space’s vacuum, the cellular network on moon will also be specially designed. The network is also expected to remain functional during lunar landings and launches despite space rockets cause significant vibrations on the moon’s surface.
Activities like data transmission, controlling of lunar rovers, real-time navigation over lunar geography – just like Google Maps on Earth, and streaming of high definition video will be made possible to be conducted by astronauts through its wireless network on the moon, Bell Labs said. That way it would also be possible get a much better shot of astronauts bouncing around on the lunar surface for people on Earth.
Giant cell towers with enormous power generators and radios essentially support the 4G network on Earth. But a small cell technology that is more limited in range has been created by Bell Labs for the moon’s 4G system. However the system will also use far less power than traditional cell towers here on Earth. The smaller size and power also means that those machines would be much easier to pack into a rocket ship. The small size technology is currently being used for setting up of 5G networks across the world.
(Adapted from CNN.com)